.MOLE66 Ransomware Virus (CryptoMix) — How to Restore Files
THREAT REMOVAL

.MOLE66 Ransomware Virus (CryptoMix) — How to Restore Files

The MOLE66 virus is the newest variant of the Cryptomix malware family. It was recently discovered in an ongoing attack campaign that is spread using different methods. Once it has compromised a target computer it would encrypt the users data with the .mole66 extension and extort the victims for a ransom fee.

Threat Summary

NameMOLE66
TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionThe MOLE66 virus is a Cryptomix strain that encrypts user data, encrypts it with the .MOLE66 extension and extorts the victims for a ranosm fee payment.
SymptomsComputer users will be unable to access their data which is encrypted with the .MOLE66 extension.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, File Sharing Networks, Exploit Kits
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by MOLE66

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss MOLE66.

MOLE66 Virus – Infection Spread

The Mole66 virus is newly released strain of the Cryptomix malware family which is being launched against victims worldwide. At the moment there is no information about the perpetrators, whether it is an individual hacker or a criminal collective.

The Cryptomix family and most of its strains are frequently delivered via spam messages. The most commonly used method is to send hyperlinks that lead to the virus infections. As always the hackers use social engineering tactics that attempt to coerce the victims into falling for the malware. A common way of doing so is by taking the text and graphics of famous sites and designing email messages that look like identical copies of them. The other method is to directly attach the Mole66 virus files to the messages.

Another convenient way to infect users on a mass scale is to spread the script directly onto payload files. In the last few years two file types have become the most widely used ones:

  • Infected Documents — The criminals embed the code into macros and the files can be of various types: rich text documents, presentations and spreadsheets. Once they are opened by the intended users a notification screen appears that asks them to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done then the threat will be downloaded from an external site and executed on the local computer.
  • Malware Installers — The hackers can the installer files of famous applications from their official vendors: utilities, creative apps and games. They are frequently placed on sites that imitate the legitimate download portals.

An effective solution that can be used with the MOLE66 virus is to embed the malware code into browser hijackers. They are malware browser plugins that claim to add beneficial features to the applications, while at the same time redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled page and harvest their personal data. The hackers use fake credentials, user reviews and an elaborate description in order to attract more interest. Furthermore the strains are available for the most popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.

The hackers can also create fraud download portals and various web scripts such as banners, pop-ups and etc.

MOLE66 Virus – Technical Data

The security analysis reveals that the MOLE66 virus is a new malware strain that is descendant from the Cryptomix family. It is very possible that the hacker or criminal collective behind it have acquired it from the black market.

The customized version does not follow the advanced behavior patterns found with other malware. We expect to see modules like the stealth protection which can protect the virus from being discovered by installed security software. The initial infection engine is programmed to scan for signatures belonging to anti-virus products, virtual machine hosts and sandbox environments. They are usually bypassed or entirely removed from the system. Some viruses also opt to delete themselves if they are unable to complete this step, this is done in order to avoid detection.

The next component that can be started is the data harvesting one. It is usually programmed to scan the whole contents of the infected machine for sensitive information. It is classified into two main groups:

  • Anonymous Metrics — They are usually composed of information about the hardware components, the operating system configuration and certain region settings values.
  • Private Data — The MOLE66 virus can be programmed into revealing data that can be used to reveal the victim’s identity — their name, address, interests, location, passwords and account credentials.

The next step would be to cause various system changes to the infected system, such steps lead to a persistent state of execution that makes it very difficult for the victims to restore their machines manually. The virus engine can impact the Windows registry, this can lead to application issues and overall perforamnce disruption. The ransomware can also impact the boot options thereby removing the possibility to boot into the startup recovery menu. That security analysis reveals that the Mole66 virus is programmed to delete all found Shadow volume copies of user data.

Advanced versions of the MOLE66 virus can institute a network connection with the hacker-controlled servers. When this is done the malware criminals may overtake control of the victim machines at any given time and spy on the users in real time. The network connection can deliver additional threats if such are intended.

MOLE66 Virus – Encryption Process

The ransomware module is started after all previous components have finished executing. Like previous Cryptomix variants it uses a prefenied list of target file type extensions:

  • Archives
  • Documents
  • Images
  • Backups
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Databases

One all victim data has been processed it receives the .MOLE66 extension. A ransomware note is crafted in a file called _HELP_INSTRUCTIONS_.TXT which reads the following:

!!!All your files are encrypted!!!
What to decipher write on mail alpha2018a@aol.com
Do not move or delete files!!!!
—- Your ID: ***** —-
!!! You have 3 days otherwise you will lose all your data.!!!

Remove MOLE66 Virus and Restore Your Files

If your computer got compromised and is infected with the MOLE66 ransomware virus, you should have some experience with removing viruses before tampering with it. You should get rid of the ransomware fast before it can spread further on the network and encrypt more files. The recommended action for you is to remove the ransomware completely by following the step-by-step instructions written below.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove MOLE66 from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove MOLE66

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall MOLE66 and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by MOLE66 on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by MOLE66 there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for MOLE66 with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by MOLE66.

Ransomware infections and MOLE66 aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

If the above link does not work for you and your region, try the other two links below, that lead to the same product:

and

2. On the download page, click on the "Download" button:

3. Click on "Save File" button:

4. Accept all agreements and click "Next":

5. After all the "Next" steps, click on "Install" and then wait for the installation to complete:

6. Run the software. Click on the location to scan for missing or deleted files and click on "Scan":

7. Wait for the scan to complete, it may take some time. Be advised that this scan is not 100% guaranteed to recover all files, but it does have some chance to get your data back:


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of MOLE66 from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall MOLE66 and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to MOLE66:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to MOLE66. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to MOLE66. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove MOLE66 via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as MOLE66. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove MOLE66 files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as MOLE66, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by MOLE66 on your Mac.

Ransomware for Mac MOLE66 aims to encode all your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decode, unless you pay money. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files, but only in some cases. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery Mac app by clicking on the link underneath:

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